COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to ESLpod.com's “A Day in the Life of Jeff,” part nine: Relaxing, the Mail, and the Trash. I'm your host Dr. Jeff McQuillan, from the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In part eight of this series we prepared dinner and ate dinner, and then we washed up or cleaned the dishes. In this part, we're going to relax after dinner and watch a little TV. Let's get started.

[Start of story]

With the dinner dishes done, my wife and I each sit down on the couch to chill out and watch the national news which comes on at 6:30. During the newscast, I sort through the day’s mail. Most of it is junk mail and bills. There are also several fliers for houses for sale in the area. I check the front stoop and see that there are no packages.

I like to watch TV and my wife likes to watch reality shows. One thing I hate is having to watch all of the commercials, so I turn the sound down when they come on. After the show is over, I thumb through the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly, while my wife reads a novel by her favorite mystery writer.

At around 9, I remember that tomorrow is trash day, so I take the kitchen garbage out and dump the recycling bins as well. I roll the trash container out to the street ready for the garbage trucks, which come by early in the morning.

[End of story]

Part nine is called “Relaxing, the Mail, and the Trash.” We begin with the sentence “With the dinner dishes done,” the dinner dishes are the dishes we use to eat our dinner, and when I say they are done, I mean that they are washed and dried. So, “With the dinner dishes” washed and dried, “my wife and I sit down on the couch to chill out.” To chill, “chill,” out, “out,” (two words) means to relax. Sometimes we use this expression as a command. If someone is very excited, you may say, “Hey, chill out,” means relax, don't be so excited. You will also hear just the word chill. “Hey, chill,” that's informal for relax, don't be so excited. You will also hear people say, “I'm just chilling.” I am just chilling means I'm just relaxing. Again, that's very informal.

Well, my wife and I are chilling, and we're watching the national news. The national news is the news broadcast on television, and in Los Angeles, this is at 6:30 in the evening - it comes on at 6:30. When we say a television show comes on, we mean that that is when it begins - that is when you can watch it. The national news can also be called a newscast, “newscast.” A newscast is a news program. You could have a local newscast, with just news about Los Angeles, for me, or a national newscast.

Well, “During the newscast, I sort through the day’s mail.” To sort, “sort,” through means that I am looking at today's mail and usually I am separating it so that I separate the different kinds of mail - the different kinds of letters - that I got that day.

Most of my mail - and this is true - is either junk mail or bills. Junk, “junk,” mail is mail that you get that you don't want. Usually it is advertisements, people trying to get you to buy something; we call that junk mail. Most of my mail is either junk mail or it's bills, and a bill is a statement - a piece of paper from some company that you have to pay money to. You get a bill for your electricity, for your phone, for your Internet access. You have to pay your bills. Well, you should pay your bills; maybe you don't.

“There are also several fliers for houses for sale in the area.” A flier, “flier,” (the plural is fliers, with an “s”) is an advertisement - it's an announcement or an advertisement. Usually it's one or two pages - one or two pieces of paper. Sometimes the advertisements, or the fliers, are folded up. And, it's very popular for people who are selling houses to use fliers that they mail you or they put on your house - outside of your house. These fliers are for houses that people are selling - “houses for sale in the area.”

“I check the front stoop and see that there are no packages.” “I check” - I look out at “the front stoop.” A stoop, “stoop,” is the stairs in front of your house. Often this word is used when we are talking about large buildings - apartment buildings or condominium buildings. In New York or Boston, some of the cities on the eastern coast of the United States, people talk about sitting on the stoop, that mean you're sitting on your stairs. But, you can also use the word to talk about your own stairs in front of your house. The top of those stairs is where you might find packages. A package, “package,” is usually a box or something that is bigger than just a regular letter that you receive in the mail or that is delivered to you by some private company.

Well, I look at my stoop and I see “there are no packages” - no one loves me; no one sent me a package. I then talk about how I like to watch television, and so does my wife. “My wife likes to watch reality shows.” A reality show, “reality,” is a type of television show where they have a competition or a contest. “Big Brother” and “American Idol” are two examples of popular reality shows. They take people - average people, they say - and they have a competition or a contest.

“One thing I hate” about watching television - something I don't like - “is having to watch all the commercials.” A commercial is the same as an advertisement on television or radio; it's an announcement from a company that wants you to buy what they are selling. Well, I don't like watching the commercials, “so I turn the sound down.” To turn the sound down means to lower the volume, to make it so that it is less loud - it is quieter. “I turn the sound down when” the commercials “come on.” Again, that verb, to come on, means that they are on the television - that they start.

“After the show is over,” - after the show is done - finished - “I thumb through the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly.” The Atlantic Monthly is a monthly magazine in the United States. To thumb through something, “thumb” through (two words) means to look through something, but usually not to be paying too much attention. You're sort of looking but you're not necessarily reading very carefully. We use that expression - that verb - when we are talking about magazines in particular. You're looking at them, perhaps waiting in a doctor's office - in the waiting room of a doctor's office you thumb through the magazines. Well, I'm thumbing through the Atlantic Monthly, and my wife is reading a novel. A novel, “novel,” is a fictional book - a book that is not a true story.

“At around 9,” that is at nine p.m., “I remember that tomorrow is trash day.” Trash, “trash,” is anything that you are getting rid of - that you are throwing out - that you don't want anymore, and trash day is the day that the garbage trucks come by and take the trash away. Now, in Los Angeles we have a public trash service, so that the government has trucks that it sends out, and it picks up your trash - it takes your trash and puts it into the truck, and then takes it away. That is trash day. In my neighborhood it is on Fridays and every neighborhood is different, they do a different part of the city each day.

So, this is trash day and I need to “take the kitchen garbage out and dump the recycling bins as well.” The garbage, “garbage,” is just another word for trash. We sometimes talk about garbage that is trash in the kitchen in particular. This is the kitchen garbage, and I have to take it out, meaning I have to take the bag and put it outside so that the garbage truck can come by and pick it up.

In Los Angeles, and in many cities, we also have recycling bins. To recycle, “recycle,” means to use again, and in Los Angeles, we have a recycling bin where you can put your newspapers and other things that they can use again - they can recycle. A bin, “bin,” is just another name for a box, usually a plastic box.

In my city, we have trash containers that you can roll; they have little wheels on them. A container is like a big box that you put something in, and so a trash container is a big, in my case, plastic box that has wheels that I can then put it down on the street. You have to put your trash containers on the street.

Each container has a different color. In my case, black is the color for trash; blue is the color for recycling trash, so newspapers, for example; and green is where you put things like leaves and grass, things that you have in your - outside of your house that you want to get rid of, that are plants, that sort of thing.

I put the trash containers out on the street because the garbage trucks “come by early in the morning.” They come by, a two word verb, which means that they come to your house - they drive to your house. And, in my neighborhood, they come by very early, so at six o'clock on Friday morning I can hear the trucks outside my window. I don't like it, but I need to have my trash taken away, so one day of the week I wake up early because I can hear the garbage trucks outside.

Now let's listen to the story, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

With the dinner dishes done, my wife and I each sit down on the couch to chill out and watch the national news which comes on at 6:30. During the newscast, I sort through the day’s mail. Most of it is junk mail and bills. There are also several fliers for houses for sale in the area. I check the front stoop and see that there are no packages.

I like to watch TV and my wife likes to watch reality shows. One thing I hate is having to watch all of the commercials, so I turn the sound down when they come on. After the show is over, I thumb through the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly, while my wife reads a novel by her favorite mystery writer.

At around 9, I remember that tomorrow is trash day, so I take the kitchen garbage out and dump the recycling bins as well. I roll the trash container out to the street ready for the garbage trucks, which come by early in the morning.

[End of story]

That concludes part nine of “A Day in the Life of Jeff.” In our tenth and final part, we get ready for bed and go to sleep.

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our website at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2006.

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